Monday, 28 January 2013

News: Novels For All, Tweets Of The Week

I'm mourning the end of a nice long weekend, so no yard-long list of Book Marks. Let's start off with something positive and more important.

Non-profit community Novels for Nepal is morphing into Novels for All, in its goal of encouraging reading while raising funds for charity. One of its initiatives, Café Reads, has been going on for some time now, raising funds to refurbish a study room in The Divine Mercy Boys Home in Kepong.

Novels for All has set up mini-libraries in several cafés in KL and PJ, including Artisan Roast TTDI, The Bee @ Publika and MyBurgerLab which isn't a café, but who cares if it's for a good cause?

Each of the books in the DIY shelves are for sale at RM10, or one can drop some spare change into a donation jar in the premises. All proceeds will go to the project; the target is to raise RM1,000. Sadly, books have been filched from these shelves.

All titles are handpicked by dedicated members of the group, so you probably won't see Fifty Shades (thank G*d) or anything from Harlequin or Mills & Boon.

Those following the Buku Fixi-Popular micro-saga shouldn't be surprised to know that the inevitable has happened:

So Popular Bookstores has decided to stop selling Fixi titles and has returned over a thousand copies of the former's books, which includes stock from 2011. Which, according to Fixi, is no big loss, since buyers are going to other bookstores as well as its own online shop.

Maybe those returned books can be sold as part of some kind of promotion. I'm curious as to how fast they will go.

Guess that's the end of that. Both sides should let it go already.

Meanwhile, controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen had some words for countries that banned the screening of Tamil film Vishwaroopam, allegedly due to the film's terrorism theme and portrayal of Islamists:

Sharp words and typo aside, I'm unsure as to how this film could worsen perceptions towards Islamists, especially those who openly advocate violence and bay for the blood of critics and opponents. When they are their own worst enemies, who needs filmmakers, writers or poets?

Is a library in Sydney, Australia going to shelve Lance Armstrong non-fiction titles under "Fiction"? Uh, no, it isn't. And it can't. "Libraries can't arbitrarily reclassify categories of books, because that depends on the ISBN number that is issued by the National Library," said a spokesman for the Manly council in Sydney that runs the library. Fair enough, though it would be a manly thing to do. Suing Lance and his publishers for 'cheating' readers, however....

As readers go digital, physical books as collectibles may become a viable option. A 101 on collecting books seems to argue that it's easier to hoard for love than financial gain - spotting books that will become eBay bonanzas in the future.

Move over, Disney princesses, for Chitrangada, Sita and Draupadi, says New Delhi-based writer and educator Saraswati Nagpal. Perhaps its time a new generation of Indian women had some homegrown heroines to look up to.

Now, if only someone can stand up against those who want Joe Anton's supporters barred from the Jaipur lit fest.


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